Pet Peeve #9

Those of you who know me know I am not a fan of “verbing” nouns. It makes my list of top ten pet peeves, but it’s not number one.

Here’s today’s transgression:

Now, I’m looking to all the journalists and journalist wanna-bes out there. Are you now captioning photos? Please tell me you are writing captions.

By the way, I thought baseball players didn’t come out in the rain because they tend to melt or some such nonsense. Where are the guys with the tarp?



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6 responses to “Pet Peeve #9

  1. Peter Paul van de Wijs

    Allow me to add “on boarding” as an example of a bad verbing

  2. Kathryn

    Not to be captious, but. . .

    My deskside dictionary, a hardback “Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition,” copyright 1964, includes “caption” as a transitive verb, as does the Merriam-Webster Online Edition (which includes the Third New International). I’m at work, and so can’t check my compact OED (and the online subscription to the OED is a bit steep for a mere hobbyist!). . .

    “Onboarding,” on the other hand, is ugly. Of course, if it manages to last 47 years, it will probably have ceased to sound ugly–but the chances of that kind of longevity for a bit of corporate jargon are slim.

  3. Kathryn

    Ah, now I have learned a new word. . .and, um, sorry?

  4. Kathryn

    For what it is worth–the OED 2d edition does not list it as a verb at all. It does list some pretty obscure meanings (obscure to us, at least, on account of they are obsolete or dialect) of the noun, and snootily observes that, in the sense of “the heading of a chapter. . . or newspaper article” it is “chiefly US (and that is the most recently coined meaning).

    Hm. That was really interesting. Who knew?

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